Well, let’s say you’re the independent kind of traveler and want to explore Bangkok on your own. That’s in fact a great idea – it’s a lot more adventerous and you might have a really good time.
Just be prepared for this: finding your way around Bangkok isn’t easy. In most places in the world, if you have a map and an address with a house number, you’ll be able to find the place with very basic map-reading skills, right?
That has something to do with the fact that house numbers are systematically assigned.
Well… in Thailand, we call it “flexible assignement” rather than “systematic assignment”. Or maybe “spontaneous assignement”. Or maybe “on-the-go assignment of house numbers”. Ok, I thing you get the point.
What’s more – not only is it pretty unsystematic, but it’s also cryptic. In fact, it kind of looks like something out of math class:
73/2-7 Soi 15, Thanon Rajadamroen.
Uuhh… yeah… right. Right?
This has to do with the fact that in Bangkok, land used to be sold in lots. Now, the first number (73) is the original number of the lot.
As you can imagine – lots are not very helpful for finding your way around, also because they are not like blocks.
The number behind the slash shows the building number on that lot. Sometimes it’s also not the building number, but the number of the entrance. So if there are four buildings on a lot, and the third building has three entrances, then you have 7 entrance numbers. Right? Ok.
And sometimes it’s done similar to this system, but not quite.
Another thing is – these numbers don’t always run consecutively, for reasons we won’t go into now. So you might be walking down the street, and it goes like this: “88, 89,90,91, 23, 24,25,99″…
Get it? 🙂 You definitely need new strategies of finding your ways around Bangkok, and then it can be a lot of fun.